How Will You Measure Employee Performance For Year-End Evaluation (aka Am I Getting a Raise?)

How Will You Measure Employee Performance For Year-End Evaluation (aka Am I Getting a Raise?)

It’s getting to be that time.  You know that time when employees are starting to think about year-end bonuses, employee reviews, promotions and raises…yes, that time! Make no mistake about it for even if no one has approached you yet, your employees are eagerly awaiting the year-end raise that they’re confident of receiving or the bonus that will help them over a financial hurdle.

But what if a promotion, raise or bonus is not in the cards? Why are your employees so confident about their successes and the positive impact they have had on the company when you have absolutely no such impression at all? Why is it that you and your employees have these contradictory impressions and what are the reasons behind this apparent disconnect? Why indeed!

Stressful sure, yet year-end evaluations don’t have to be filled with aggravation. Here are some top tips to ensure that your next performance reviews are free of missed cues and anxiety:

Don’t be vague or ambiguous. Establish clear and quantifiable performance standards that everyone can understand and make certain that your employees agree with the established performance guidelines. If employees understand the expectations associated with their position, there will be little, if any, disagreement about whether or not they are performing up to the standards. You can’t argue with the numbers!

You must maintain a detailed file for each employee and have thorough documentation of the good and bad that has occurred over the year. You can’t rely on memory.  An effective performance evaluation requires that you review the actions and behaviors that have been demonstrated over the course of the year. This is important so you can validate your decisions on compensation and career advancement.

While most companies do a yearly review it is a good practice to meet with employees more frequently especially if there are performance gaps that you want to address before their year-end review. Waiting until the yearly review to inform an employee that they are not performing as desired is counter productive. Employees will resent being hit with the “bad news” at the end of the year rather than being given advance warning so that they could try to improve their performance. Addressing employee weaknesses while they still have an opportunity to change behavior is a win-win for you and the employee.

Most employees can accept a less than positive year-end review when the following has been implemented:

  1. The performance expectations were clear and understood.
  2. There was full documentation of their strengths and weaknesses.
  3. They were not caught off guard by what was being presented.

The final step is to make certain that you have an action plan detailing what you would like to see improved and a timeline for when these improvements have to occur. There should be no misunderstanding about what comes next even if the next step is termination.

No one ever said that year-end evaluations were easy but by following these steps there should be few surprises and a more efficient and stress-free review process.

From the October 2014 Unique Business Solutions Newsletter


For further discussion or comments, please contact Gail L. Trugman Nikol, President Unique Business Solutions, gail@ubsassociates.com or call (516) 935-5641.

October 7, 2014